Picture of How to make perfume
Why spend a fortune on perfume or cologne when you can make your own for cheap. Brand name perfume/cologne can cost from $50-100, why spend that much when you can create your own fragrance with vodka and essential oils.

Instead of wearing a fragrance that everyone else wears you can make your own unique blend. Your own aromatic creations also makes a thoughtful gift.
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Step 1: What you need:

Picture of What you need:


  • Vodka (the higher percentage alcohol the better) or Everclear if you can get it
  • Essential oils*, fragrance oils**, infused oils, even flavour*** extracts (make sure it's pure) such as vanilla extract
  • distilled or spring water
  • glycerine (this can be found in pharmacies)

Other stuff

  • pretty glass bottles to put the finished product in, preferably coloured glass, reuse bottles or find them at the dollar store.
  • glass jar for mixing fragrance in
  • measuring cup/spoons
  • a dropper if you have one
  • funnel
  • aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you are using clear glass bottles
  • a pencil and paper for jotting down your recipe
  • a discerning nose is helpful

*You can also make your own perfume oil Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

**Fragrance oils are synthetic and are less expensive than essential oils.

***Quite a few perfumes use food flavours in them, so extracts are an easy way of incorporating them into your own creations.

Step 2: Preparing bottles

Picture of Preparing bottles
Sterilize the bottles and jars in the dish washer, especially if you are reusing bottles. They need to be clean and sterile.

Step 3: Add the alcohol

Picture of Add the alcohol
Measure 1/4 cup of vodka/Everclear and pour into jar.
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lavenueco19 days ago

Can someone tell me why you have to use vodka for perfume making? I've seen another way of making it without alcohol, but I want to know the benefits of using it or the differences before making my decision. Thank you :)

ChrysN (author)  lavenueco19 days ago

The alcohol is the vehical to carry the scent, once you apply the perfume the alcohol evaporates quickly and you are left with just the scent. So it is dry and ther is no residue.

it is a big help for me to know this thing..

bambi.blayse2 months ago

I have another question, is the carrier oil mandatory? (I am using a perfumers alcohol) Thank you

ChrysN (author)  bambi.blayse2 months ago

No need for carrier oil. Just drop the essential oils into the perfumers alcohol.

bambi.blayse5 months ago

Hello I am working on my perfume and everything is looking good, until I add the distilled water. Nothing is mixing, what is the purpose of the distilled water? and must I use it? Thanks in advance

ChrysN (author)  bambi.blayse4 months ago

The water dilutes the perfume so it isn't so strong, you can leave it out if you want.

Thanks a bunch.
MichaelE172 months ago
jayda212 months ago

I have question do you have to all the ingredients ?

ChrysN (author)  jayda212 months ago

Which ingredient s are you missing?

Is there a ratio I should use for determining top notes, middle notes, and base notes? How much essential oil should I put in for each?

ChrysN (author)  lucie.macaulay.93 months ago

You usually need less base notes and more higher notes since the base
notes tend to be stronger (14 drops top notes, 7 mid note and 4 base
notes as a rough guide).

Geny3 months ago
Want to do it and sell
Geny3 months ago
Want to do it and sell
fgribbon6 months ago

Does anybody know of a good place to get the dark colored bottles for this? I've looked and looked and I can't find them anywhere! :(

Hobby Lobby has some nice colored glass bottles, that's where I got mine.

ChrysN (author)  fgribbon6 months ago
fgribbon ChrysN6 months ago

Thanks, but I was thinking more of a brick and mortar store? Tried Micheals and got the clear ones, but saw nothing of the dark colored ones. Saw a bunch of lightly colored ones too, but I didn't think those would cut it?

Another question I had was about the emulsifying process. Will it come out clear with no oil beads or is it meant to be cloudy? Thanks for the help! :)

ChrysN (author)  fgribbon6 months ago

Yes, it will be a bit cloudy as the oil and alcohol don't mix. You can remove the oil by running it through a paper coffee filter, but only after the perfume is aged. Once it is aged the scents should be absorbed into to alcohol.

fgribbon ChrysN6 months ago

Oh awesome! :D Thanks for all your help! <3

lourenjovito5 months ago

I remember my teacher told me “Do not put something on your skin you cannot eat”. Most of perfume making procedures i see use synthetic. Gotta try making scents in a natural way..

lrazonandreas6 months ago

You could try a spray-on texture or even a fun spray paint on your bottles. If just looking for a protective sun/light block for your creations, you could even just brush on a dark acrylic paint. I hope this works for you! I know Wal-mart or Michaels have a pretty good selection on surface variations as far as other than basic spray paint. Glitter, rubberized or even the stuff you would apply to refinish a bbq! Have fun! :p

AdamS206 months ago

You can also make a custom perfume online at http://wwwthegreatestsmellever.com
You pick the scents, name the perfume, and can even upload a picture for the label.

I live in the Amazon region and am mounting fairly substantial equipment to steam (and hydro) distil essential oils from local plants, leaves, saps, fruits and nut-like fruits, but NOT woods (no destruction, no rosewood in extiction please, Death to Chanel no 5 and other perfumes that use this ingredient).

I have worked up a network of local people who collect or plant the respective inputs and thus have available supplies of ingredients to go into production with perfumes based, initially, on around 10 local essential oils.

I need help to formulate perfumes based upon such oils and others if need be to complete the perfume blend, but based principally on the marketing plus of being natural AMAZON sourced ingredients. A major plus I think you will agree as this region is a TREASURE HOUSE of innovative ingredients.

Would anyone like to participate in this effort with me?

Let me know, I am extremely creative when it comes to development.

I would like to participate in this effort with you. In what area would you like my assistance?

gentlejms1 year ago
thanks for your work, I want to start a perfume making business, but I need your advice in packaging.
I could help you with the packaging. If you are interested, shoot me a message.
jeremiah7 braimb10 months ago

I am going to need some assistance in this area in the future. How do I get in touch with you. Can I get your email address?

ChrysN (author)  gentlejms1 year ago
I don't know if I can answer your questions, I just make perfume for personal use. The only advice I can give is that the perfume keeps best in a tinted glass container.

you just did me my work!!!

FTDK11 months ago


I'm so excited to be here. I luv perfume and want to try out some. I wanna make something really nice, woody, musky, spicy , warm and masculine for my fiance. I want simething as sexy as coffee. Yea I know it seem like I want a lot but he deserves it. I want something that's just for him from me. Any suggestions pls pls pls. Thanks.....

BaNanners11 months ago

does anyone know if it's ok to use a aluminum spray bottle?

Judy4081 year ago

I was really glad to find this since I have lost my original recipe. The main question I had you answered without knowing you did. The what do you add to what order. To highlight this, for general information, if you start with scent and add alcohol, the finished product will be cloudy, not clear. It is usable - it smells OK - but it is not very pretty. So always measure alcohol, then add scent to the alcohol.

Do you have a breakdown of the percentage of base to water for the different commercial types - toilet water, cologne, perfume, etc?

Ali Atif1 year ago

which ingrdient is used for staying fragrance last longer..please answer meeeee.

OwlManor1 year ago

So ready to try this! Questions :) My favorite scent is Angel. I looked on the site and it said this: Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Berries, Honey, Bergamot So.... how do I know how many drops of everything to put in? And what do I use for Chocolate, caramel, berries and honey? These aren't essential oils right?

jtran91 year ago
Thank you for this instructable! This really means alot to me.
The smell didn't really change much, but the cup absorbed the smell and now it smells like the perfume i made lol
And i just wanted to know if there's another alternative other than vodka?
ChrysN (author)  lolimmaunicorn2 years ago
An alternative to vodka would be Everclear or perfumers alcohol.
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